The Forum Creative Europe 2016 will take place on 25th and 26th of April in the Foundation of Ilija M. Kolarac organized by the Desk Creative Europe Serbia and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. According to the ambitions, the Forum will overcome the importance of all previous activities of the Desk Creative Europe Serbia, and it can be said it will answer the need which was not entirely satisfied and which is of essential importance for the development of culture in Serbia.
Namely, experts from eight areas of culture (audiovisual creation, visual arts, performance arts, music, science and theory of culture and art, literature, creative industries, cultural heritage) will gather in one place, both individual ones and the ones active within public, private and civil organizations. At the working desks the experts will conduct strategic analyses and give recommendations for developing international cooperation in particular areas. The results of the work will be presented and publically debated about on the second day of the Forum and they will be published in the Desk’s publication, but most importantly – they will be used in future management of international cultural cooperation in Serbia.
The topic of international cooperation and cultural policy was expanded with the content of other programmes of the Forum (“Stati(sti)cs of cultural policy“, a display of statistical data on international cooperation and the cultural system in Serbia, presentation of international and regional cooperation of The Association NKSS, Cultural policy: perspectives of future professionals – workshop of cultural policy for the young, a video conference with organizations-partners of Kolarac on the project Kolarac Take over)
The other aim is providing information about the Creative Europe programme and domestic iternational programmes and competitions supporting cultural projects. This is the reason the following will be presented:
• Successful projects supported by the Creative Europe programme in 2015 (literary translations: Heliks, Clio, Laguna, Zavet, Dereta; projects of European cooperation: Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Institute of Archeology in Belgrade and the Institute for Preservation of Cultural Monuments, Sremska Mitrovica, Kuda.org, Magnetic field B, No Borders Orchestra, Darkwood; European platforms: the Association of Belgrade Architects);
• Sub-programme MEDIA which Serbia recently joined and the sub-programme Culture: priorities, competitions and procedures (budget and administration)
• The European Prize for Cultural heritage and this year’s prize winner from Serbia, village Gostusha, Institute for Preservation of Cultural Monuments Nish
• Programmes Erasmus+, Horizon, Cosme, competitions of the Foundation Jelena Santic, A Guide through potential domestic and foreign sources of funding (Team for social inclusion and alleviating poverty).
Moreover, a series of consultations will be organized (lawyers and economists of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia), presentations and a workshop on the topic of fundraising and applying for the programmes encouraging international cooperation, mobility, audience development and creative industries (EU projects).
Cultural experts from Serbia – we expect the Forum 2016 to continue the tradition of dynamic cooperation! The admission to the Creative Europe Forum 2016 will be free of charge.
The program of the Forum is available here.
The project Trans-Europe: a Literary Journey across the Continent encompasses translation and presentation of eight novels and one collection of stories written in eight European languages (Dutch, French, German, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Turkish and Greek). It was designed with the idea of strengthening cultural bridges and literary dialogues between different coordinates in the European framework, without language boundaries and with a special emphasis on countries whose literature is less present in Serbia (primarily Island and Cyprus).
The project is composed of the following works: Jarðnæði (Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir), Hah (Birgül Oğuz), Marilyn désossée (Isabelle Wéry), Døden kører audi (Kristian Bang Foss), Хμερολóγιο μιας απιστίας (Emilios Solomou), Jón (Ófeigur Sigurðsson), Kirschholz und alte Gefühle (Марица Бодрожић), Maud og Aud (Gunstein Bakke) and De Nederlandse maagd (Marente de Moor). All listed books brought their authors the prestigious European Union Prize for contemporary literature.
These contemporary works represent a literary response to the challenges faced by Europeans today. Another trait of all the books belonging to the project is the exquisite literary quality which is reflected in the choice of topics and the distinctive author expressions, from the experimental ones, at the cross of poetry and prose (as in the Belgian novel Marilyn désossée) to epistolary (the Icelandic title Jón) or a diary form (the other Icelandic title, Jarðnæði). Thematic links with Serbian readers are diverse but easily recognizable, such as wars on the soil of ex-Yugoslavia (the German novel Kirschholz und alte Gefühle written by the author who was born in this area, Marica Bodrožić), the Second World War (the Dutch novel De Nederlandse maagd) or a job as an illusion of modern man’s life purpose (Danish title Døden kører audi).
Experience showed that direct contact with authors is invaluable in approximating a book to the reader, thus, a guest appearance of three authors from the project was planned as a stage of promotion.
The Grail in school project is based on the promotion and presentation of contemporary European literature, which is not sufficiently known to readers in Serbia. Heroes and stories written by the best European writers will help readers to learn about the diverse cultural identities that flow into one – European, and thereby perceive their own participation in it.
The main group that we are addressing is composed of young readers who are forming their reading taste. Works of the contemporary European literature are not included in the obligatory curriculum of secondary schools, and literature is taught in a traditional and often outdated manner. Our goal is to develop a competent audience that knows how to recognize good literature and high quality translation. We are planning to achieve this goal by working with the special target group of mediators who influence the formation of taste for reading of young people and the wider audience. These are university professors and high school teachers, librarians and booksellers, but also gifted and literature oriented students.
This year we selected five novels whose authors are from the Netherlands, France, Italy and the Czech Republic, and their works represent achallenge for experienced translators: De laatste ontsnapping, Jan van Mersbergen, translator Jelica Novaković-Lopušina; En attendant demain, Nathacha Appanah, translator Ljiljana Marković; Ferito a morte, Raffaele La Capria, translator Ana Srbinović; Il pianista muto, Paola Capriolo, translator Elizabet Vasiljević; Dějiny světla, Jan Němec, translator Aleksandra Korda-Petrović.
The project Contemporary European Literature: A Kaleidoscopic View includes translation into Serbian language, publication, promotion and distribution of eight books.
The books are contemporary European novels originally written in Slovenian, Swedish, Dutch, German, French and English. The authors are from six countries: Slovenia (Aleš Čar), Sweden (Sara Mannheimer), the Netherlands (Herman Koch), Germany (Iris Hanika and Friedrich Christian Delius), France (Antoine Laurain) and the United Kingdom (Sam Byers and Taiye Selasi). All these novels were written in 21st century, and published in the period from 2009 to 2013.
Although the works were created in different cultural contexts, all selected works have something in common. In each of these works the protagonists are faced with a challenge in their life, they have a need to change their lives, or the circumstances necessitate the change. With each of these challenges a reader living in Serbia can be faced too, in different circumstances and a different environment. In addition to the reader identifying in the novel the challenges faced by himself or people around him, the reader in Serbia will have the opportunity to meet other cultural contexts, to expand knowledge of social processes in the modern world.
In each of the selected works, the protagonists pursue personal happiness that eludes them from different, subjective or objective reasons. The authors of each of these works deal with topics, raise questions and suggest the messages that are universal and thus relevant to readers in other countries and other cultures. Some of the protagonists are faced with a challenge in their family, or suffer due to the disintegration of their family, some suffer due to a loss, some are burdened by historical events from the past and question their attitude toward the past, while some are in trouble because of their attitude toward life and the world which possibly results from belonging to a particular generation.
In the novel by Taiye Selasi, a family of immigrants from Africa has fallen apart, its members have moved to different parts of the world and they suffer from the lack of family relations. Will their arrival at the funeral of the suddenly deceased father of the family give them a chance to recover severed relations? In the novel by Iris Hanika, two middle-aged people are suffering because of the past, burdened by the crimes of the Nazis in Germany, and they are faced with the need to reconsider their attitude towards the past, which turns out to be a necessity of vital importance to them.
Also, in the novel by Friedrich Christian Delius, the reader follows train of thought of a retired German archaeologist who works as a tour guide in Rome. He is sitting in a church not far from the Pope himself and thinking about Italy’s ecclesiastical and political history and the concept of the original sin; he wonders, then, how Italians look to the German tourists in the light of Nazi crimes, and their thoughts finally create a portrait of present-day Italy. In the novel, which tells about four generations of one family, Aleš Čar comes to the conclusion that true happiness can only be sought in tolerance.
The protagonist of the novel by Sara Mannheimer suffers because of losing her unborn baby and begins to study obsessively the works of philosophy and literature, seeking the lost meaning of life in a library. In the novel by Antoine Laurain, quiet life of the protagonist, an accountant, is changed radically when he takes a hat which President Mitterrand accidentally forgot in a restaurant. It will turn out that this hat does not only change his life but the life of every future owner. Two couples meet in a fancy restaurant to talk about the crime that was committed by their children which disturbs what was until then a peaceful life in the novel by Herman Koch.
In the novel by Sam Byers readers are introduced to three protagonists who are members of the same generation, dissatisfied with their lives and trying to restore the former friendship hoping that will bring about a change. Is their perception of personal happiness wrong, and does it reflect the wrong attitude about personal happiness of an entire generation?
Promoting European literature as a part of the edition Prometej assumes a project which will last for two years. In this timeframe Laguna will publish five titles carefully selected to present in the best possible way the concept that was created. The project was designed to show the Promethean spirit of Europe and to depict every aspect of life of an average European man, primarily the political, social and cultural aspect. Laguna will introduce the reading audience to the most prominent literary heirs of European cultural tradition and promote European values though translation of contemporary European writers’ work. It will be emphasized through literature that we all have similar difficulties and problems and that we are all connected with similar human faiths, everyday habits and heritage.
The selected books are similar in genre and they contain a very important message that should be conveyed to readers so it inspires them to contemplate and provoke their interest for European writers and literature. Laguna decided to apply for the grant for literary translation of 2015 within the Creative Europe project with the following titles:
God is my Witness, written by the Greek writer Makis Tsitas, winner of the European Union Prize for literature, Il desiderio di essere come tutti (The wish to be like everyone) by the Italian writer Francesco Piccolo, A máquina de fazer espanhóis (A machine for making Spaniards) whose author is the Portuguese writer Valter Hugo Mãe. The Austrian writer Arno Geiger fitted into the project with his work Es geht uns gut (We are good), as well as the Romanian writer Varujan Vosganian with his work Cartea Şoaptelor (The book of whisperers).
The most prominent and most experienced Serbian translators will be included in this project. Laguna intends to promote the Prometej edition in all media as a very significant project aided by the European Union. Laguna’s marketing plan was thoroughly developed with the aim to present and approximate this innovative literary endeavour in the best possible way to the audience. The advertising campaign of the edition was intricately designed. Apart from the standard marketing activities Laguna organizes for its authors and their works, in the case of the Prometej edition, the works will be presented on several literary festivals and book fairs in the country and abroad and submitted as parts of applications for literary awards for translation in our country since the aim of this project is also promoting translators – their knowledge, experience and devotion.
Laguna intends to continue the Prometej edition and publish a second round with new titles which will continue the idea of improving the dialogue between the European Union and Serbia, to show through literature that we have the same history, common cultural heritage and based on this to form better relations.
Publishing house Dereta gained the support of the Creative Europe programme for the realization of the project Alienation and identity in contemporary European literature within which they will translate to Serbian, publish and promote eight books of contemporary awarded European authors. The selected works thematize in different ways very dominant problems faced by the modern man – feelings of alienation and loneliness brought about by social networks, generation gap or the past because of which we want to isolate ourselves, but also the search for identity in instable historical circumstances.
Carefully selected, all work have high artistic reaches, starting with Livro до Desassossego, a meditative, almost lyrical diary of one of the most important figures of Portuguese and European literature – Fernando Pessoa, followed by probably the greatest living Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo with his dark humour novel El exiliado de aquí y de allá. Three authors included in the project were awarded for their novels with the European Union Prize for literature: Evie Wyld received this award in 2014 for her work All the Birds, Singing, and in the same year the talended Bulgarian writer of the middle generation Milen Ruskov was awarded for his novel Възвишение, while the Czech author Tomáš Zmeškal was crowned with this award in 2011 for his work Milostný dopis klínovým písmem. Szczepan Twardoch, a Polish author, was awarded with a significant national award Paszport Polityki for his thrilling novel Morfina which speaks about an anti-hero, cynic and a morphine addict. The significance and quality of prose accomplishments of the Romanian writer Florina Ilis was recognized in her homeland a long time ago, and for her novel Cruciada copiilor she received awards of the Romanian Academy and the Association of writers. A significantly important novel was published by a Hungarian author Árpád Kun, and his work Boldog észak was awarded by the most prestigious Hungarian award – Aegon.
Possibilities offered by the Creative Europe programme were presented at the Faculty of Applied Arts, on 5th of April 2016 as a part of the Info day.
The Head of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia spoke about competition procedures with the focus on possibilities for universities and faculties to include their activities in the wider European context, securing in this way important financial assets, but also professional partnerships with European institutions and organisations. It was once again emphasised that in order to participate in the Creative Europe programme, primarily a good idea is necessary rather than knowledge about administering a project.
The Faculty of Applied Arts recently established an office for international cooperation and writing projects, hence that was also an opportunity to speak with the staff about first steps towards participating in the programme – ways of connecting with potential partners at the international level and advantages universities might have in that part of preparing, but there were also talks about important questions encountered by organisations when applying.
In the Art Gallery Nadežda Petrović in Čačak and the Cultural Centre of Gornji Milanovac Info-days were held which were attended by the representatives of the public and the civil organizations from Čačak and Gornji Milanovac. We spoke about the basics of the Creative Europe programme functioning, ways of connecting with partners from abroad, possibilities of co-financing successful projects and the position our country is in with regards to the support of the Creative Europe programme that it received in 2014 and 2015.
According to results related to successfulness of obtaining support of the Creative Europe programme up to now, Serbia is occupying the 10th place among 38 countries participating in the programme. Successful projects mostly include organizations from Belgrade and the Desk strives to encourage engagement and participation of institutions and organizations from the other cities and territories of Serbia through this kind of activities.
The Art Gallery Nadežda Petrović is one of this year’s applicants within projects of European cooperation, whose results we are expecting soon.
Presentation of the Creative Europe programme was held on 9th, 10th and 11th March 2016 in cooperation with the National Museum in Kruševac, the Student Cultural Centre in Kragujevac and the National Museum in Kragujevac.
We spoke with the representatives of the local cultural institutions and organizations about the possibilities of applying to the calls of the Creative Europe programme, but also about the importance of this programme for regions which do not have the access to the programmes of cross-border cooperation, subjects dealt with by the programme, what can be a good project idea and how important project administration is.
The importance of deepening the existing cooperation of the local cultural institutions with foreign partners was emphasizes, and there was also a discussion about diversifying the funding sources and different possibilities of co-financing successful projects within the Creative Europe programme – from the specialized competition of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia to financial support of the local government.
One of important aims of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia is contributing to demetropolization of Serbia, which is why a part of the Desk’s activities is taking place not only outside of Belgrade, but also outside of bigger city centres. At the same time, these activities of the Desk are aimed towards strengthening the capacity of domestic institutions and organizations in the area of international cooperation.